Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sore

[sawr, sohr]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, sor·er, sor·est.
  1. physically painful or sensitive, as a wound, hurt, or diseased part: a sore arm.
  2. suffering bodily pain from wounds, bruises, etc., as a person: He is sore because of all that exercise.
  3. suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.
  4. causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.
  5. causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.
  6. Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.
  7. causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.
noun
  1. a sore spot or place on the body.
  2. a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.
adverb
  1. Archaic. sorely.

Origin of sore

before 900; Middle English (adj., noun, and adv.); Old English sār; cognate with Dutch zeer, German sehr, Old Norse sārr
Related formssore·ness, nounun·sore, adjectiveun·sore·ly, adverbun·sore·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. tender. 3. aggrieved, hurt, pained, vexed. 4. grievous, distressing, painful, depressing. 8. infection, abscess, ulcer, wound.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sore

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The horses are all very tired, and many of them have sore backs.

  • To consider these evils, to find their remedy, is the most sore necessity of our times.

  • Brother Mark of the Spicarium is sore smitten with a fever and could not come.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Evidently the Street and all that pertained was a sore subject.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • His mind refused to work out the problem; his side was so sore.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser


British Dictionary definitions for sore

sore

adjective
  1. (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender
  2. causing annoyancea sore point
  3. resentful; irkedhe was sore that nobody believed him
  4. urgent; pressingin sore need
  5. (postpositive) grieved; distressed
  6. causing grief or sorrow
noun
  1. a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc
  2. any cause of distress or vexation
adverb
  1. archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)
Derived Formssoreness, noun

Word Origin

Old English sār; related to Old Norse sārr, Old High German sēr, Gothic sair sore, Latin saevus angry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sore

adj.

Old English sar "painful, grievous, aching, sad, wounding," influenced in meaning by Old Norse sarr "sore, wounded," from Proto-Germanic *saira- "suffering, sick, ill" (cf. Old Frisian sar "painful," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer "sore, ache," Old High German ser "painful," Gothic sair "pain, sorrow, travail"), from PIE root *sai- (1) "suffering" (cf. Old Irish saeth "pain, sickness").

Adverbial use (e.g. sore afraid) is from Old English sare but has mostly died out (replaced by sorely), but remains the main meaning of German cognate sehr "very." Slang meaning "angry, irritated" is first recorded 1738.

n.

Old English sar "bodily pain or injury, wound; sickness, disease; state of pain or suffering," from root of sore (adj.). Now restricted to ulcers, boils, blisters. Cf. Old Saxon ser "pain, wound," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer, Old High German ser, Old Norse sar, Gothic sair.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sore in Medicine

sore

(sôr)
n.
  1. An open skin lesion, wound, or ulcer.
adj.
  1. Painful to the touch; tender.
Related formssoreness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with sore

sore

In addition to the idiom beginning with sore

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.